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make root and branch work with the It is now time to come to the other Papists, after a fashion consistent with branch of the argument of the Roman the vigour of her character. There is Catholic advocates, as applied to the a curious and interesting treatise still present state of Ireland. I am inte extant, known by the style and title rested in the welfare of Ireland, and of Hume's History of England, which, I know the country well. With that notwithstanding the more modern and interest and that knowledge I do not shining lights, afforded by Doctors hesitate to pronounce the late descripLingard and Hallam, is still much tions of its present state, the most asread, and most potently believed by toundingly audacious artifice to carry a the major part of the reading popula- measure by storm that ever was at tion of this kingdom. Now this Hume tempted to be palmed upon the counflatly affirms, that after the seminary try. It was worthy of the ferocious of Rheims pronounced, in its wisdom, genius of the Times newspaper, which that the Pope's bull, excommunica- boasts, I believe, the honour or the ting and deposing Elizabeth, was dic- infamy of the device. If any English tated by the immediate inspiration of gentleman, who does not much conthe Holy Spirit, and after they had cern himself about the peculiar afsent cargoes of ecclesiastics to her do. fairs of Ireland, and there are many minions to preach up sedition, and of the worthiest to whom the descriptreason, and murder, the Queen found tion will apply, could bring himself to it expedient to hang up fifty Popish believe one tittle of the representapriests, and to banish a yet greater tions he listened to on that debate, renumber, within a very few years, for presentations, too, made by men who the good of the nation, and the secu- had an opportunity of knowing and rity of her Majesty's government. judging of the truth, he must have That this terrible woman, whom carried away with him an impression Sir Francis would impose on them for of the existing state of Ireland, so a wise and magnanimous confider in grossly exaggerated, -as to lose all rePapists, actually declared to her Par- semblance to a true picture, in the liament, that she considered the Ro, mis-shapen proportions of a hideous manists inveterate enemies to her per- caricature. son; and obtained their concurrence It is very unfortunate for the reputo a law by which the exercise of the tation of Ireland, that those who are Roman Catholic religion, was now at pleased to be oratorical upon her polength totally suppressed. That the litical and domestic condition," to law for the capital punishment of whatever party they may belong, think priests, and of such as harboured them, they find their account in magnifying was enacted and executed on account with all the force of their eloquence, of the treasonable views and attempts that which is bad in the country, and of the Roman Catholic sect, and did lightly passing over the other parts of not require any other overt act of the picture. The Roman Catholic adtreason to be proved against the indi- vocate says, “ look at the dreadful viduals who suffered the penalty. So state of the country, and then if you much for the love and regard which can,” or some say, "if you dare, rethe good Queen Bess bore to the Pa- fuse that emancipation, which is the pists.
only cure.”—The opponent of the CaIt may, moreover, be found in the tholic claims draws a similar picture narrative of the same Hume, that up of the dreadful state of the country, to the period of the Revolution, cele but founds an opposite argument upbrating, or attending mass, was an in- on it, and asks, will you place power dictable offence; that during the reign in the hands of wretches so wicked of Charles II., “ the old persecu- and ferocious ?"-And these worthy ting laws of Elizabeth," as the liberal people, irreverently, ycleped saints, historian expresses it, “ still subsisted shocked at the Popish superstitions, in their full vigour," and that the im- describe Ireland as the very sink of munities which the law now guaran- all that is corrupt and abominable, tees to Roman Catholics, in the exer- and call upon their brethren to subcise of their religion, are as much su- scribe for Bibles and other good books, perior to the privileges they were en- to send some of the light of religious titled to, in Charles the II.'s reign, as knowledge into a place where the med the te
r of the Pope was horrible deeds are continually the
it is now,
spiritual darkness. Thus, on every come to that dreadful state, (which hand, Ireland is assailed by exagge- God forbid they should come to,) and ration of her faults and her misfor. which there is in reality and truth no tunes, and the already monstrous heap reason to apprehend, that it were neof her imputed misdeeds gradually cessary to withdraw the English increases, like those cairns upon spots troops, and leave the population of where some horrid murder has been Ireland to fight for the sovereignty of committed, upon which, by superstin it; I maintain, and the Catholics tious custom, every hand as it passes themselves know it to be true, that Aings another stone. Again and again, they would be conquered. What
say, that there is nothing in Ireland means this imposing word organi. to warrant these dark and terrifying zation ?” If Mr Fitzgerald wishes the descriptions. The country is still fera country to believe, that the respecta tile, and beautiful beyond compare; able and wealthy part of the Roman, the people are in general kind-heart- Catholic body, are organized in such ed, hospitable, and good-natured, and a way as to be wielded as one man, though they are unsteady, passionate, he wishes it to believe that which is and easily led into wrong, yet they not the fact. The Catholic Associaare perfectly manageable by a union tion, which those who have been on of kindness with firmness; and if the the spot, and have looked at the matmass be turbulent, it is chiefly because ter with their own eyes, know very a few men are allowed to exercise, well does not comprise the real strength without control or punishment, their of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, foolish and wicked plans, for the dis- but is, with some dozen or two of turbance of the people.
exceptions, a'crew of vulgar, illiterate, Nor is it to be wondered at that they uninfluential brawlers--this Cathopersevere, since not only are they left lic Association is no doubt in regular unpunished, but their power and their communication with the priests, and importance is everywhere, even in the the priests have considerable influence Houses of Parliament, spoken of so over the very lowest of the people, seriously, and yet so erroneously, that whose ignorance they may take ad. they must feel their vanity most ex. vantage of to lead them into error ;. ceedingly gratified, and they are in- but here is the whole machinery of vited to go on in a course which places this wonderful “ organization.” No them, according to the orators, not doubt to certain Irish members this only on a level with, but above, the organization appears a very formilegitimate government of the country. dable affair, for by means of it the
“ The people,” says the Knight of Association may keep them in, or Kerry, in his place in Parliament, turn them out of, their seats; but the
are organized, the country is orga- reason it can do this, is because the. nized.” “ He did not mean to say,
law unfortunately places the elective. that this organization was intended franchise in the hands of the very for bad purposes, but he did say that lowest of the people ; and, if this law it existed, and that it was an awful were amended as it ought to be, I circumstance, that a country in such a have no doubt that the importance of state of disaffection to the Government, this dreaded organization would sink from disappointed hope and protract, very fast in Parliamentary estimation. cd expectations, could be wielded and But if it were true, that this organizadirected as one man. Now this is tion and wonderful power did really said of all Ireland, and undoubtedly, exist, and, if it be also true, that the if it were true, it would be a fact very people are so extremely wicked as frightfuland alarming; butit is not true they are described to be, what are we that the country could be wielded as to think of the persons who wield onemạn;on the contrary, it is true, that this power, and yet who take no steps whatever preponderance the Roman to prevent the frequent commission of Catholics of Ireland may have in nu- dreadful crimes ? merical force, yet-for I am forced to If the Popish leaders have not the the painful comparison, by the way in power ascribed to them, then the arwhich Mr Fitzgerald has thought fit gument for emancipation, grounded to state the matter it is more than upon it, falls to the ground ; if, on balanced by the superior wealth, in the other hand, they have the power, telligence, and firmness of the oppo- and will not exercise it for the presite party ; and if the affairs of Ireland vention of crime in the country, then they are undeserving of emancipation, Brien of Thomond,” says the histoand ought not to obtain it. It will rian," having submitted to King Henperhaps be said, and with some ap- ry, Donchad of Ossory, dreading the pearance of truth too, that they do advantages which his rival might acnot prevent, but encourage crime, for quire by his forward zeal, hastened to the sake of making the aspect of the the King, and submitted to become country more terrifying to the Eng- his tributary and vassal.” The conlish ; but, if this were true, what po- duct of the other Irish chiefs was sic litician could advise that to people milar. The 'manners, customs, and capable of thus acting, additional po- language of nations may alter and imlitical power should be given ? I say prove;
but there are certain great nagiven, for as to the Irish Catholics ta- tional characteristics which, however king it by force, it is, as I said before, modified, remain in their leading fearidiculous. They have no notion of tures the same. England, as long as any such thing. It is possible, but we know her, has been sturdy, inflexit is not at all likely, that the mass of ible England. She never would be bulthe population who have nothing to lied or driven into anything, nor will lose, might be led into insurrection, she yet. Scotland would never abide and a dreadful scene of slaughter the stranger to dwell within her quarwould then ensue ; but who would be ters; but whether he came with bow their leaders ? The Roman Catholics and spear, or with surplice and prayer of Ireland who possess property, know book, she drove him forth; and still too well the value of what they have, she stands, maintaining her own laws to risk it by any such desperate mea- and her own religion. Ireland-wild sure. They must know, that unless Ireland, the land of quick feeling and they take delight in slaughter, they unsettled principles, never was conwould obtain no good from the at- stant or unanimous in any purpose, tempt, but that confiscation of proper- nor is she now. Leave her to herself, ty, banishment, and death in the field, and treachery and disunion would conor on the scaffold, would be to them tinue to tear her in pieces. « United selves the final and dreadful consee as one man!” changed indeed must quences. But I do them wrong in she be, before that can be truly said supposing for a moment, that it is of her. fear of the consequences which re- Still the insecurity of life and prostrains them. It is a calumny to im- perty in Ireland is dreadfully, shamepute “ disaffection” to them; and, fully exaggerated by the orators. whatever the forty-shilling freeholders, In some districts, particularly the lay or ecclesiastical, might be dispo- county of Tipperary, there certainly sed to do, I am sure the Roman Ca- does prevail a dreadful recklessness of tholic gentlemen of Ireland would, if human life, of which the consequences an insurrection broke out to-morrow, are too horrible to be described ; but instead of supporting it, give it their even this is the result of feuds amongst zealous opposition.
themselves. They have a wild notion, L" Ireland united as one man !" Alas! that their own people should submit for Ireland's national honour, never to the lawless regulations which they did she exhibit such a union; never lay down amongst themselves; and, did a foreign foe plant his foot on the while it is a shocking truth that, in the Irish shore, that he did not find some county of Tipperary, an Irishman who of her own people ready to join him, takes a farm from which another has for the sake of revenging their intes- been ejected, may be murdered in the tine quarrels. What is the disgraceful daylight, without his neighbours inlegend of Irish history-is Dermod terfering to prevent the crime, or to forgotten, who, for the sake of aven- secure the criminal, an Englishman ging himself upon Roderic, brought who had taken the same farm would the English invaders into the heart of probably escape ; they would consider his native country? Shall we not re- him without the pale of their revenge, member, that when Henry the Second which is truly with them, as Lord Ba. inarched through the land as a con- con defines it, “ a kind of wild juse queror, instead of meeting with oppo. tice.” But the horrid state of Tipperary sition,
united as one is by no means general over the whole man,” disunion and private hatred laid country; and I myself know of in« the country prostrato at his feet? “0'- stances in the county Limeric, where
gentlemeu's houses-Protestant gen- why will he not inquire? Is it his tlemen, I mean, with their houses business, or his duty, as a statesman, full of valuable property,—are leftto make a glowing powerful speech, even in the middle of the night, als (I did not think, by the by, that Charmost without bolt or bar, and certainly lie Grant had it in him to make such much more insecure against invasion a speech,) founded upon statements from without than would be safe in which he well knew to be “ overchar, any part of England.
ged?” “Overcharged," indeed! What It is melancholy to contemplate the a delicate word ! False false is the enormous mischief which is done by word, good St Charlie-but let us these continual exaggerations of the have your own flourish.
« There ex. lawless, and wicked, and wretched ists in Ireland, a power, compact, well state of Ireland. People are quite organized, not recognized by the confrightened at the name of the place. stitution, disavowed and condemned Men who have capital to lay out in by Parliament, usurping the functions agriculture and manufactures sooner of the executive, exercising even fipal think of going to Van Diemen's Land, authority, extending its dominion over than to a country of which they hear every part of the country, and able at such dreadful descriptions. They its will to command and direct the transport themselves to the Antipodes, movements of the whole people.” Very rather than go three days' journey to fine indeed. The first part of the dea country, which they are not allowed scription, however, has this advantage to think of, without thinking at the over the latter, that it is true, which same time of murder. This is the evil the other is not. But it being true that which the orators bring upon their a power exists, not recognized by the country ; and while they take credit constitution, and disavowed and con. to themselves for boundless patriotism, demned by Parliament, why is it sufthey ruin their native land.
fered to exist ? Oh! for one year's As to a general rebellion, there is wise and vigorous decision in the Go. no idea of any such thing at present vernment of Ireland ! in Ireland, and if there were, there is no You know, Mr North, I hate a place in the world where it would be long argument, when the pith of it sooner known. The Irish are so com- begins to decline, so I shall not detain pletely abandoned to the influence of you much longer. The state of Irefeeling and passion, that keeping a se land at present, is certainly not an encretis
with them quite out of the ques. viable one, for party feeling rankles tion. The gathering storm, too, would with an excessive soreness, of which manifestitself in a variety of ways—the previous times, bad as they have somepeople would not work, they would times been, scarcely afford an examabandon their fields, well knowing that ple. But let Parliament men, newsin a time of disturbance, they would men, or Catholic Association men, say be masters, and no rent would have what they please, I say, much might to be paid. Letters would be sent to be done for Ireland, without Catholic particular individuals occasioned by Emancipation-and the first thing is, gratitude for some individual act of to let the truth be known, for it is kindness, and warning them of their quite incredible the quantity of false danger. Disclosures would be made by hood that is abroad, concerning that some, fearing like Donchad of Ossory, country. I wish a Society were estathat others would get before them, blished, to send some of its members and be exclusive sharers of the reward, regularly into Ireland, for the sake of and many other indications would in- actually beholding what was going on fallibly appear.
there. I will ensure the safety of the Mr Grant is so well pleased with the lives of the travellers at a small pres opportunity for making a fine speech,mium. What a "refreshing" thing which Mr Fitzgerald's statement fur- an unprejudiced report would be ! nishes, that although he knows it is I am, with great respect, not correct, yet “ he will notinquire to
Mr NORTH, what degree, in some respects, the
Yours, picture may be overcharged.” And 7th June 1828.
P.S. I annex a note of the proceedings and divisions in Parliament on thic Catholic Question, which may be interesting to some of your readers.
1805. Mr Fox moved for a Committee to take into consideration the Catholic claims.
Ayes, 124; Noes, 336.-Majority against the Catholics, 212. 1806. Question not brought forward. 1807. Question not brought forward. 1808. Motion for a Committee to take into consideration the Catholic claims. Ayes,
128; Noes, 281.-Majority against the Catholics, 153, 1809. Question not brought forward. 1810. Motion for a Committee to take into consideration the Catholic claims. Ayes,
109; Noes, 213.-Majority against the Catholics, 104. 1811. Motion for a Committee. Ayes, 83 ; Noes, 146.-Majority against the Catho. 1812. April 24. Mr Grattan's motion for a Committee. Ayes, 215; Noes, 300._Ma
jority against the Catholics, 85. June. Mr Canning's motion for a Committee early in the next Session, to take
into consideration the Catholic claims. Ayes, 235; Noes, 106.-Majority for
the Catholics, 129. June. A similar motion in the Lords by Lord Wellesley...The order of the day
being moved in opposition to Lord W.'s motion Contents, 126; Non-con
* tents, 125. Majority against the Catholics, 1. 1813. Feb. 3. Debated for three nights.
Mr Grattan's motion for a Committee to take into serious consideration the Ca,
tholic claims. Ayes, 264; Noes, 224.-Majority for the Catholics, 40. March 9. First reading of the Bill. Ayes, 186; Noes, 119.-Majority for the
fecting Roman Catholics. Opposed by Mr Canning, on the ground of its
Bill. For the motion, 187; Against it, 235.-
245.-Majority for the Catholics, 42.
lics to sit in Parliament-Ayes, 251; Noes, 247.--Majority against the Ca
tholics, 4; and the Bill withdrawn. 1814. Question not brought forward. 1815. May 31. Sir Henry Parnell's motion for a Committee. Ayes, 147; Noes, 228.
-Majority against the Catholics, 81. 1816. May 21. Mr Grattan's motion for a Committee early in the next Session. Ayes,
141; noes, 172.Majority against the Catholics, 31. 1817. May 9. Mr Grattan's motion for a Committee. Ayes, 221; Noes, 245.Ma.
jority against the Catholics, 24. 1818. Question not brought forward. 1819. May 4. Mr Grattan's motion for a Committee. Ayes, 241 ; Noes, 243.-Ma
jority against the Catholics, 2. 1820. Question not brought forward. 1821. Feb. 28. Mr Plunkett's motion for a Committee. Ayes, 227; Noes, 221.
Majority for the Catholics, 6.
favour of the Catholics, 11.
jority in favour of the clause, 14.
Ayes, 211; Noes, 223.—Majority for the Catholics, 12.
19..Bill passed the Commons.
159. Majority against the Catholics, 39.-Bill thrown out. 1822. April 30. Mr Canning's motion for a Bill to enable Catholic Peers to sit in the
Upper House. Ayes, 249 ; Noes, 244.-Majority for the Catholics, 5.
contents, 171.-Majority against the Bill, 42.Bill thrown out.